Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What can you do against the flu?

What can you do against the flu?The threat from influenza is not over.
Only last week, two young people in Hong Kong were hospitalised in critical condition as a result of H1N1 flu, also known as 'swine flu'. Experts in Taiwan have also predicted that H1N1 flu could re-emerge in the island next month.
In Singapore, the number of acute respiratory infections (ARI) is reported to have hit epidemic levels, with a massive spike in patients seeking medical help.
The flu is a highly contagious viral infection that affects mainly the respiratory system - the nose, throat, and occasionally, the lungs. Most flu infections last for about a week, and have the following symptoms:
• Sudden high fever of over 38 degrees Celsius
• Nasal congestion (blocked nose)
• Chills and sweats
• Headache
• Muscle aches (particularly in the back, arms and legs)
• Fatigue and weakness
At first glance, the symptoms of the flu may seem very similar to that of the common cold. A resource on the Mayo Clinic website says that one can differentiate between the two by the onset and severity of the symptoms: "Colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a nuisance, you usually feel much worse with the flu."

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